Finance Act, 2015

On 14.05.2015, the Finance Act, 2015 received the assent of the President. The Act provides for various amendments in the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the Finance Act, 1994. The salient features of the Finance Act, 2015 are as follows:

  • Include ‘Yoga’ within the purview of ‘Charitable purpose’ for the Income tax Act.
  • A ‘Company’ is said to be resident in India in any previous year, if it is an Indian company or its place of effective management, in that year, is in India, where ‘place of effective management’ means a place where key management and commercial decisions that are necessary for the conduct of the business of an entity as a whole, are in substance made.
  • Insertion of new Section to provide for certain activities that will not constitute business connection in India.
  • Exclude income from “Swachh Bharat Kosh, set up by the Central Government’ and ‘Clean Ganga Fund, set up by the Central Government’ from the total income.
  • Deduction of a sum equal to 15% of the actual cost for setting up new plant or machinery in any backward area notified by the Central Government.
  • Deduction of a sum of 75000/- from the gross total income of an individual or Hindu Undivided Family, who has incurred expenditure for medical treatment, training and rehabilitation of a dependant, being a person with disability.
  • Inclusion of a new Chapter XII-B for special provisions relating to tax on income of Investment Funds and income received from such funds.
  • Amendment in definition of ‘Service’ to include any transaction in money or actionable claim, except (1); any activity relating to use of money or its conversion by cash or by any other mode, from one form, currency or denomination, to another form, currency or denomination for which a separate consideration is charged; (2)     any activity carried out, for a consideration, in relation to, or for facilitation of, a transaction in money or actionable claim, including the activity carried out- a)  by a lottery distributor or selling agent in relation to promotion, marketing, organizing, selling of lottery or facilitating in organizing lottery of any kind, in any other manner; b)  by a foreman of chit fund for conducting or organizing a chit in any manner.
  • Imposition of mandatory penalty for failure to pay service tax @ 10% of service tax, however, where such service tax and interest is paid within 30 days of the date of service of notice, no penalty shall be payable.
  • Increase in the quantum of penalty from 50% to 100% in the cases involving suppressing etc, of value of taxable services.
  • Increase in effective rate of Service Tax to 14%.
  • Imposition of Swachh Bharat Cess @ 2% on the value of taxable services.

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